Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo courtesy of Austal USA)

WASHINGTON — Austal USA today announced its board of directors has elected industry veteran Michelle Kruger as the company’s new president.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead the unparalleled shipbuilding team at Austal USA, who work together every day to deliver with excellence and integrity,” Kruger said in a written statement. “I am thrilled and committed to lead Austal USA’s on-going growth as one of the Nation’s premier shipbuilders. Our growth in both surface ship and submarine module manufacturing is an incredible opportunity for us. As a team we will continue to deliver worldwide service and support capability while steadily advancing technology in support of our nation’s readiness needs.”

RELATED: Austal rejects Hanwha’s takeover bid — for now

Kruger joined Austal in 2022 as vice president of global services and support, and had been serving as interim president since August 2023 when the previous Austal USA chief, Rusty Murdaugh, resigned.

Kruger, a marine engineer by trade, held various positions at General Dynamics prior to joining Austal, including at Electric Boat, Bath Iron Works and NASSCO.

She will take the helm of a staple shipbuilder for the US Navy as it continues a portfolio transformation brought on by Murdaugh from building solely aluminum-hulled ships — namely the Littoral Combat Ship — to producing a number of vessels made of either aluminum or steel.

Over the past three years, Austal has picked up contracts for ships such as Navy’s new expeditionary medical ships and the second tranche of the US Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutters.